History 104A, September 28: Girlie-Men Conquer the World!


               We're in Iraq information Mesopotamia, but we are now going into


          Greece.  Well, I'm not going into Greece.  We're finishing up Greece.


          Last time went through a couple of things, at the basic fall of


          Athens, if you want to call it that, with the Spartan's puppet


          government, conservative government that took over.  And the execution


          or Socrates who I identified, despite the history books, did not


          believe in democracy, was not a free thinker.  And we moved on to


          dealing with some of the other philosophers, but the main emphasis


          would be Plato who, in a sense, was the spokesperson for Socrates.


          And I said that today we would enter into some information about


          Aristotle and then move onto the true story of Alexander, not the bad


          movie.  Did I ask how many people saw the movie on Alexander?


          Q    Are you mad because they depicted him as gay?


               THE PROFESSOR:  No.  I'm mad because they didn't do it the way


          those movies are supposed to be done where they got Steve Reeves.  You


          don't know who Steve Reeves was.  He was the first Arnold


          Schwarzenegger.  All of those girly men.  We're taken all this down.


          Now I'm going to get my ass in trouble.


          A    I didn't tell you to say that.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Of course you didn't.  But you start my sit down




          Q    Don't you think that some of the images of these famous God-like


          man figures weren't kind of mystified and idealized to be these big


          hunky men like Arnold?  They could have been these scrawny dudes, but



          you have where you make a portrait, it comes out to be a little bit


          nicer than the actual thing?


               THE PROFESSOR:  You mean like Jessie Ventura using a body double


          when he ran for governor?  I think those girly men are trying to shut


          you up or the real men.  Is that your phone?


               Obviously, historically, propaganda was used.  We're not talking


          about reality.  Hollywood is not reality.  And when you watch movies


          or cartoon movies like Pocahontas, you begin to realize the


          distortion.  Alexander's mother was a snake dancer.  And snake dancers


          tend today sleep with the snake or have sex with the snakes.


          A    I don't know how that would work.


          A    I don't get it.


               THE PROFESSOR:  I'm not going to describe that.  I'm sorry.


          There's a certain point with the reporter here that I'm not going


          into.  Zeus came down in the form of a snake.  And I guess based on


          mythology, he impregnated Alexander's mother and out of that union


          came the semi God, Demi God, Alexander.  They didn't do that in the


          movie?  The mother goddesses of Crete were also snake dancers.


          However, if you do need the find out how it works, many years ago


          there was a pornographic movie that made the headlines, besides Deep


          Throat which was one that some of you heard of called The Devil and


          Miss Jones.  Talk about bad films.  You guys hear about The Devil and


          Miss Jones?


               THE INTERPRETER:  Yeah.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Just checking.  They're ancient too, not as



          ancient as I am.  They would know those things.  In any case, even in


          modern pornography, it's projected.


               So we're dealing with mythology, obviously.  We're dealing with


          stories, but I like that.  I like those things to escape.  I like bad


          movies that let me escape, but not when they're so bad and they


          distort history like Excalibur or whatever it is, putting on Arnold


          Schwarzenegger, putting on the barbarian.  How did we get off of that?


          You got upset with my being a wise ass.  You didn't really.


               Aristotle's philosophy, although the student of Socrates,


          Aristotle was hired by Alexander to be his tutor.  Alexander was well


          educated with Aristotle being his tutor.  But like many bigger than


          life heroes, mythological heroes, although he did exist, the ego is so


          strong that they ignore any advice, especially when they are


          charismatic like Alexander comes down in history.  They don't take


          advice.  They do what they believe is right.


               In any case, I showed you the pure form and the universals.


          Aristotle's philosophy could be seen as a pyramid.  To Aristotle which


          was reality and this was where we created universals.  In reality,


          there was not universals that existed out of the particulars.  In


          simple terms, I pointed out yesterday that, to Plato, you knew the


          table because you had a sense of the universal, that all people


          understood wisdom, beauty, and justice, but the philosopher kings and


          queens understood it to the higher level.  Based on that, to Plato,


          women were equal to men -- God forbid in Greece.  That was just a


          basic heresy.  On one level, they were different.  And that was



          physical strength; but mentally, women could be and Plato saw them as


          equal, despite that British IQ test that we talked about earlier.


          That certainly was in contrast.  So therefore, we could have


          philosopher queens as well.


               The difference being that Plato -- I'm sorry, Aristotle believed


          that we understood what a table was by studying tables.  In a sense,


          the beginning of science.  We looked at the particulars, the


          individual tables, to come up with a concept rather than having the


          concept -- my favorite word for today -- embedded in us.  And that way


          by studying things, we could learn about reality.


               Now, as I say, it is the beginning of science, if you will.


          However, he came to certain conclusions by his studies which show the


          fault in the study.  They were -- today our studies indicate, our


          examinations indicate the fallacies of those some of those things and


          I'll talk about that.  As far as government is concerned, Plato


          believed that basically we had three forms of government that were


          ideal because they did exist.  And those governments would be


          democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy.  As far as women, they were


          inferior.  Why?  Because when we studied the Greek societies, all


          women were in an inferior position; whereas in the various


          governments, there were three standard governments basically.


          Aristotle was a prolific writer.  We have literally 162 books of his


          that have survived.  Now, that's what survived.  That's the amazing


          let of it.  As you know, some of this material got lost during the


          quote/unquote dark ages which are certainly a negative term and one



          that we don't use anymore as historians.  Much of it was preserved by


          the Muslims in the libraries of places like Damascus and Tehran in


          Persia, Iran, in Baghdad, in Iraq, and of course in Syria.


               He opened up a school in Athens for his students as well, so that


          we could spread this on.  And in a sense he opened the door to a study


          of a lot of things, classified species, if you will, studied various


          animals and fossils as best they had the knowledge of.  He believed


          that there was only one God basically, not the multi Gods of the


          Greeks and of course later the Romans.  He didn't believe knowledge


          itself was virtue.  He believed that virtue came in self-control.  And


          he believed though that learning inspired happiness.  And therefore,


          if you contemplated and you studied, you were more happy.  His studies


          led him to believe that man was a political animal.  He believed,


          based on what he saw and examined, that the freeman should be the


          rural over his wife and of course his children and slaves.  That


          slaves lacked everything and their only usefulness lay in the services


          which they rendered to others.  He believed, based on his studies


          again, that free artisans were inferior to farmers and men of leisure.


          We wonder whether Jefferson picked up on some of that later.  The


          worst of all of any people were bankers.  I might note that Aristotle


          had a very big influence on the Catholic church, especially in the


          medieval period.  He said that the well regulated state should not


          allow artisans or businessmen to participate in the government.  He


          said that private property and the monogamous family are necessary to


          an efficient social order.  It sounds like a supply side economist,



          which is a term or a republican economy.  He believed too, he


          considered the Greek city take the highest type of government that can


          be achieved.  And obviously from the word you heard me say, he


          believed that the best type was a conservative type.  He believed that


          Civil War among class, class warfare could be prevented by an


          extremely large growth of the middle class.  Again, something we


          emphasize in democracy a concept that to have a solid democracy you


          needed a middle class.  Of course he saw that in Athens.


               Again, while he looked at astrology and science, not all of them


          are examinings.  He did hold that the Earth was the center of the


          universe not using the Christian sense of heaven above and hell below.


          He understood along the classification of many many species and it is


          believed that he probably engaged in dissection.  Interestingly, he


          believed the heart to be the center of intelligence.  Today we say,


          how could he not know it's the brain?  But you know the circulation of


          blood was not really quote/unquote discovered until the early 1600s.


          People didn't understand that the blood circulated through the body


          with a heart as a pump.  He believed that the brain regulated the


          temperature in the body and it regulated the temperature that the food


          that you ate was cooked in for digestion purposes and that digestion


          tools in the intestines.  That's what his study showed him.  And he


          also believed for some strange reason that women had fewer teeth than


          men.  There must have been something in society or he didn't look too


          closely at women's teeth.  Maybe women lost their teeth earlier.  That


          one also surprised me.  I know that men have one less rib than women



          because Eve came out of the rib of Adam.  Never mind.  I'm just being


          a wise ass again.  I'm sorry.


               He believed in spontaneous generation, that eels came out of


          garbage, if you will.  By the way, the spontaneous generation was the


          theory of the Egyptians as well.  Did I talk about a scar ran?  Scarab


          is the Egyptian name for the beetle and of course most people think of


          the scarab as very much Egyptian, the necklaces the beads, the


          symbols.  The scarab was believed to come of the of sort of a semi God


          who was believed to push the sun across the heavens where Apollo


          apparently pulled in in his chariot.  Of course the beetles are very


          very powerful.  They carry things hundreds of times their weight and


          they don't take steroids.  They saw the scarabs coming out of dung


          heaps and therefore they believed that they were spontaneous


          generation.  What better God to worship than a scarab, something that


          comes out of a dung heap.  I thought that was an interesting


          philosophy anyway.


               In any case, air stall's school went on for hundreds of years.


          In the 15th century BCE we pointed out that Athens was somewhat under


          the control of Sparta as puppet.  The city continues, the trade


          continues the growth continued the wealth continued, but in the north


          the rumblings of a new posterior power, the new empire.  The


          barbarians although they were Greek under the leadership of Philip of


          Macedonia.  And like many stories in Greek mythology, although this


          may be true, there were those who warned against the danger, tried to


          unify the Greek people against the danger of Philip, the most famous



          was a name named Demosthenes who some of you may have heard of he was


          the individual who's extremely articulate.  His speeches are still


          preserved, very well similar perhaps to Abraham Lincoln's


          commentaries.  Apparently, he was originally a stutterer.  And to cure


          his stuttering, he practiced speaking and pronouncing with little


          pebbles in his mouth.  Since he constantly practiced speaking, he


          became perhaps one of the best known speakers, historically I guess


          we'd say.  Wasn't it he as well who was looking for an honest man with


          his lantan?  Anybody remember that from mythology?


               But the Greeks did not take warning and similar to the not


          listening to Cassandra years earlier, the Trojans didn't listen to her


          be aware the Greeks bearing gifts.  In any case, Philip did come down


          in the year 353, unify the Greeks for the first time through conquest.


          Like many kings historically, the isolation from their children,


          perhaps the abuse of their children often led to the love/hate


          relationship.  And obviously because they had multiple wives or


          concubines, there was constantly infighting as to who would become,


          whose son would become the emperor, the king, the monarch.  And based


          on the earlier movie of Alexander with Richard Burton, they definitely


          show her, the mother forcing her son on Philip as the king in the long


          run playing games palace intrigue which we see continuously with the


          Romans with the women and their manipulation of the ruling of the


          country and the empire.  It goes on later on in Italy with the Medici


          family in the medieval family and the Borgias, the power of the women


          and of course the famous use of poison to eliminate leaders.



               In any case, Alexander replaces Philip in 332 at the age of 23.


          And sets out to conquer the which in a sense he conquers the wealthy


          part of the world, the known world.  And so out of Macedonia we begin


          to see the expansion of Alexander's empire.  Crossover, cuts the


          Gordian knot and conquers Persia and gets bogged down in India.


          During this period, let's call it drugs, probably syphilis or at least


          some venereal disease weakens him and he goes a little bonkers


          apparently, kills one of his sons, and dies at the age of 33.  At the


          age of 33 Alexander has conquered the world, at least again the


          wealthy world.  He did not leave an heir.  He does not leave anybody


          who can follow him directly.  And so that Alexander empire that has


          spread Greek culture and mixed it with Oriental culture, which is


          basically Hellenistic.  Helen is Greek.  Hellenistic refers to the


          mixing of Greek culture with a Oriental values as well.  And


          throughout this area Alexander builds new cities dedicated to culture,


          knowledge, learning and cities become very important.  They become an


          important element of life, these new massive cities.  And most of them


          are named Alexandria.  So there are many Alexandrias, but the one we


          know best is the one in Egypt where a major library and culture is


          kept.  The City of Alexandria in Egypt had a population of 2000 or


          more.  Some of it went under water with the flooding.  Many people are


          going down there and finding buildings and they think they recently


          found some of the pillars from the library of Alexandria.


               In any case, with the breakup of the empire of Alexander his


          generals are divided.  As you can see here I guess this area of the



          eastern area including parts of Persia, although different separation


          of his empire, Armenia here, this is under one of the generals


          Seleucids.  And then another of his generals, Ptolemy.  And of course


          Ptolemy is name that many brothers take including the brother of


          Cleopatra.  Cleopatra was I guess we would say the last of the


          Ptolemys.  And the kingdom of the Acrasicids moving into India.  And


          then one of the kings moving into Greece, Macedonia, one of the


          generals taking over this territory with a certain independence to the


          Greeks maintaining a certain unity and Macedonia itself.  So we have


          then a split empire but with a new basic philosophy, the urbanization


          becomes a major sense of the new Hellenistic period -- culture,


          knowledge, learning, and if you philosophy.  Among those the epicurean


          and the stoic.  New form of religion, if you will.


               Yes, the Greek Gods are still involved but there is a new sense


          of the city.  And that city introduces from the Indian the stoic


          philosophy that you don't search for something.  You simply accept and


          it will come to you.  Out of the Hindu faith, they create the sense of


          a lack of desire.  And if you go onto a higher level, a higher plane,


          although stoicism does not include reincarnation.  When you do not


          desire something, you simply accept your place in life because in the


          next life you are going to be rewarded for it.  Stoic is an English


          word to refer to somebody who refer to them as simply accepting and


          fellow.  The one that existed among the upper classes was the


          epicurean philosophy.  That refers to something who likes to eat good


          to do today.  The epicurean philosophy -- eat, drink, and be merry,



          and a misinterpretation to the epicurean while we enjoy life and live


          life to its fullest, the whole purpose of life was to avoid pain which


          is why you didn't take Kirshner's class and take an exam on Friday.


          Because if you go through pain, your life is miserable.  We ate to a


          certain amount.  We didn't do what a Romans did and that was eat till


          we felt sick and then throw up and eat again.  We drank but not to the


          extent that we got heavily drunk because that's not very pleasant


          either.  So some extent the Puritans in our country had that


          philosophy.  We think of them as not enjoying life.  But they felt


          that happiness came from not totally the absence but minimal.  For


          Puritans, you were allowed one smoke of tobacco a day.  Anything more


          than that could get you sick.  You were allowed one drink a day.


          Anything more than that could get you sick.  You were allowed one


          woman a day.  Anything more than that would get you sick?


          A    (Laughing.)


               THE PROFESSOR:  Again, moderation for the epicureans enjoying the


          city.  And of course the art became more realistic and more suffering.


          They showed people not in the Greek idea, not the phony Hercules which


          we've identified, but people began to see seen, although sometimes


          with that same exaggerated steroid out body in suffering in pain, in


          movement, the Hellenistic art, one of the most famous pieces shows an


          old woman looking like an old woman, bent over, going to market.


               Well, I've gone as far as I can.  We do have a group meeting.  If


          we will spend the next 20 minutes in that group meeting, the sheets


          are up here.  Please do head for your groups.  If you're not ready,



          you know to write it up.


               The exact question is -- compare the Greek concepts of polis,


          hubris, and fate with our beliefs today.  Compare the Greek concepts


          of polis, hubris, and fate with our beliefs today.  New chairperson,


          please pick up the sheets.